Thursday, March 14, 2013

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie..just like your vegetarian mama used to make!

I'm so glad to have finally made this recipe. I've been planning it out for the longest time, yet have never decided to execute it till today, when a lovely free(..ish) evening presented itself to me. Planning on eating my trail mix granola that I made the other day and to play it easy on the cooking tonight, I all of a sudden felt inspired! Which basically meant, shepherd's pie night! And I am now proud to say that I can add a checkmark on yet another of my recipe makeovers, as shepherds pie has always looked so enticing but I've never been able to eat it! Till now, that is. Instead of beef I used lentils and mushrooms. I think that these hearty, and protein packed ingredients are just the right substitute to produce a hearty "stick-to-your-stomach" feeling (of course the mashed potatoes help as well...) and are also so so very yummy. I just love the earthy and delicious taste of shrooms and lentils. And combined with all the other ingredients, pure magic! I think this is a great recipe when in a pinch and left only with staples. I always keep dried lentils, potatoes, and frozen veggies in the freezer because who knows, there may be some day when you run out of fresh (god forbid!). So basically, as I finish my kind of scattered thoughts, try out this recipe! Its oh so good...

Cross section photo...mmmmm

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie
8 oz green lentils
2 cloves garlic, chopped
a few sprigs of thyme, chopped
8 oz baby portobella mushrooms, chopped

1 large carrot, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 in cubes
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas (preferably fresh, but frozen's all good when there's no fresh to be found!)
1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn ("")
1 small onion, chopped
4 oz can tomato paste
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder

3 large russet potatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup half and half (or milk/ soy milk for vegan, I just had half and half on hand)
1 Tsp garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Prepare the lentils according to the package instructions, but add into the water the garlic, thyme and portobella mushrooms. You should probably try to cover most everything with water, it will cook down though so don't worry if not.
3. Meanwhile, start boiling the potatoes. Once they are done, soft enough to pierce cleanly with a fork, drain them. Make sure all the water is out of the pot and add the half and half, garlic powder and olive oil. Either mash or immersion blend the potatoes till they are smooth. (I immersion blended them for the first time when I made this, they turned out SO good, so if you have one I'd definitely use it!)
4. Set the potatoes aside, and in a large bowl mix together the peas, corn, carrot, onion, parsley, oregano, and garlic powder. Mix them all together thoroughly.
5. Once the lentil mixture is finished, add it into the veggie mixture. Then add the tomato paste, and balsamic and salt and pepper and mix to thoroughly incorporate everything.
6. Put the lentil mixture in the bottom of a greased baking pan (I used a 5x8) and smooth it out. Then, dollop the mashed potatoes on top so its covering all of the lentils.
7. Bake in the oven for 50 min to an hour, and enjoy!!

Health Benefits!!
Lentils- high protein, high fiber, help lower cholesterol, good source of complex carbohydrates, rich in iron, high in magnesium
Onion-strong antimicrobial benefits, contains sulfides lowering blood lipids and blood cholesterol, contain flavanoids which are known to help protect against cardiovascular disease, high sulfur content for anti clotting agent.
Garlic- Contains allicin, an incredibly medicinal component, especially in raw garlic. Allicin can help prevent high blood pressure, aid in digestion, aid in inflammation reduction, help prevent and cure cold, and much much more!
Carrots- contain beta-carotene, great for your eyesight. High levels of antioxidants may help prevent cancer, high in vitamin A, may decrease risk of heart problems, and may help reduce cholesterol levels due to their richness in fiber.
Portobello Mushroom- Surprisingly high in protein, one cup of this mushroom contains 5g! They have a ton of micronutrients such as selenium, phosphorus and potassium. They  also contain the vitamins pantothenic acid, folate, choline, vitamin B6 and thiamin. Also very high in phytochemicals and antioxidants.
Corn-  Super high in fiber, high in folic acid, niacin, and vitamin CGreen Peas- loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals, and vitamin C and vitamin E. Surprisingly enough, peas are also a great source of omega 3's!


No comments:

Post a Comment